Psalm 84:1-4 (NIV)
How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar, Lord Almighty, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.
I love my new job. I am learning all about the world of insurance. I had no idea that the realm of the insured was heavily governed by state legislature but it is. I am a nerd. I love to know all the rules and regulations. I like to live within in their lines. I am comfortable in never knowing the inside of a jail or walls of a prison if I can avoid them. I would much rather dwell inside the comforts of home. In the world of property and casualty insurance for residences, there are two worlds – homeowners insurance that covers the structure and contents then there is dwelling insurance that covers our personal stuff. In the flux of learning copious amounts of information, I was not at all surprised when I began dreaming about “dwelling” this morning assuming that it was from all the useful knowledge I am gaining at work. But then in the quiet darkness of early morning before the chaos called family awakes, I could sense this was something the Lord wanted me to consider today.
Homeowners insurance covers your house and the things that make up your living quarters. But dwelling insurance covers all those things that make your house a home. Vague description I know but again this is not an infomercial. The Lord began speaking to my heart today about life. Where I live? How I live? It is important to the Lord how I live. He died so that I would a rich, satisfying life. (John 10:10) Where I dwell each day determines my success or ultimate failure in achieving such a purpose in my life. Growing up as a young child, we lived in a mobile home. I remember thinking that I wanted a “real” house one day like my grandmother and grandfather. One that did not sound like a giant box whenever anyone moved up and down the hall. I discovered as an adult that I did not really long for a house as much as the home my grandparents had together. Everything in this life is temporary. I forget that all the time and dwell on things and in things that are not permanent as though they are forever. How about you? We place high level of importance on security in this life never really contemplating what if tomorrow never comes. This is not a call of despair but rather an invitation to freedom.
The Lord wants us to dwell in His Presence today. It is not a tangible place like a house where you open a door and step in. You cannot get your GPS to guide you to your destination. It is not a filled with things but rather the One Thing we all need to live a rich, satisfying life. How do we get there from here? How do we dwell in an unseen place with an untouchable God? We must learn to find this dwelling place and move the contents of our life from the temporary life we now live into the forever place of His Presence.
2 Corinthians 4:16-17 (NIV)
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
We bought the house we live in just over ten years ago as it was being built. The company had already drafted the plans and designed the house so we just watched it all come together. When we purchased our home, everything inside of it was brand spanking new. It still had tags on everything. It was painted to perfection. And then of course, we moved our band of gypsies inside and needless to say it has been well-loved. Now it is beginning to need some touchup here and there even though we strive to care for it, it is like every other physical resource we have subject to wear and tear. Painting, caulking, repairing and replacing just come with owning a house. However, something that I have discovered is that while I long to fix most little things there are some things that represent the memories that were made in this house now called a home. The imperfections came about not because we owned the property but rather because we lived in it.
The world that we live in today is a temporary place for those who love the Lord and have Jesus to be their Savior. We do not end up here forever but rather walk through this life to get to Eternity. We dwell here a short time but sometimes forget where our home is. I am just as guilty of it as the next person. The word dwell means to live or stay as a permanent resident, to reside. It also means to live or continue in a given state. Finally, to dwell is a state of mind meaning to linger over, emphasize or ponder in thought. To dwell means to live in a certain state. Dwelling is not a place but how and where we live mind, soul and body. The conditions of life are subject to the world. Where we live. How we live. What we have in relationship to things will always be subject to the degradation and downward sloping of society. But how we live mind, soul and body does not have to be dependent on outward conditions. When we decide to dwell in the House of the Lord, we change the outcome of certain situations in life. We remove ourselves from the natural so that the supernatural governs our life. This is not a physical and tangible choice but an inward change that can absolutely impact our living conditions.
Psalm 15 (NIV)
Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others; who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the Lord; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken.
Who can dwell in the Presence of God? Who can live on His Holy Mountain? The one whose walk is blameless. Build up, build up and letdown for some who read this today. It shouldn’t be. Your walk is blameless because of Jesus Christ alone. How we live is really up to you and me. I had a job. The Lord opened the door of opportunity for another. The money was the same and benefits, too. The difference between the two was dramatic though. One working for the government in a high level supervisory position which a ton of responsibility and the other a low-key position in a small insurance company with one job and low stress level. One would think the choice might be easy. It was not. The world wants us to think that success is measured by stress. It tells us to fight our way up the corporate ladder. It sucks you in to the competitive career world quickly. How can you drop the heavy workload and assume the much lighter burden without becoming suspect? We assume the conditions of where we live. When we become immersed in life it infiltrates our mind, soul and body. But if we will make the choice to dwell in the Presence of the Lord that same life because a place of blessing and peace.
It’s time to work smarter not harder. To know and understand the Will and Way of God we must know the Word of God. When we begin to feed our mind, soul and body with the Word – it strengthens our spirit man (or woman) to understand the impact of God’s Presence in our life over the expectation of mankind. But didn’t the Word of God just say that I must be “blameless” in my walk with the Lord. Yes it did. Yes you are. The world wants us to think we must do “something” to earn the Grace of God that is actually a gift. It is up to us to discover the Truth and believe it that God’s Grace is His Gift to us and know we can come boldly into His Presence and live there if we want to.
The only way to be blameless and righteous is through Jesus Christ. You cannot do anything other than to come to Him for it. (Period) End of story. We are not comfortable in our undoing but would much prefer doing something. Well that’s too bad because our sin makes our offering not acceptable. What can we “do” for the Lord today to remain faithfully in His Presence and dwell where He is? Walk in love, talk in love, and live in love with Jesus so much so that it pours out into the life of others. This changes the place we live into the Dwelling Place of God wherever that is and whoever is there with us will be forever impacted.
Psalm 37:3-4 (NIV)
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
We have the right and freedom to choose how we live our life. A true love affair is never forced so the Lover of our soul gives us a choice whether we choose death or life. I choose life today. Life is found in the Presence of God. It is a place we cannot see or feel but can very much live. It sets the course for our daily life. There is blessing in each moment and potential in each breath as Children of the Living God. We decide whether or not we will live as permanent residents in His Company. We choose whether or not to live in our current condition or will we surrender that “state” to Jesus for quick rejuvenation and renovation. We are the ones who linger over things that don’t really matter, or emphasize our problem when we have the solution or even ponder in thought the lesser things more than the One Thing who we really need. God wants us to dwell with Him today. He will change the living conditions of those who love Him with all their heart enough to move a little closer in each day. We have to trust the Lord because we cannot see Him. We do good because we love Him. He allows us to dwell in safety in the midst of the roaring lions of this life. God’s Glory is in His Presence right where He wants us to be. (Psalm 26:8) Strength and joy surround the midst of Him. (I Chronicles 16:27) It is a safe place. (Psalm 4:8) I want the life that God has prepared for me in His Dwelling Place today far about the worthless things in this life to live in forever today.
Psalm 27:4-5 (NIV)
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.